How to Choose a Switch on a Tight Budget?

How to Choose a Switch on a Tight Budget?

A network switch connects multiple devices to a local area network (LAN) and allows the devices to communicate over the network. It improves the efficiency and potential throughput of the network by sending data only to the devices designated to receive it. The right switch should meet the current needs and offer possibilities for future growth. In this article, we try to figure out what to consider when selecting the best switch for your system.

buying network switch

Considerations When Selecting Network Switch

When selecting a network switch, you need to consider various factors, like routing requirements, port speeds and performance needs. A thorough planning before making the purchase will save you time and money, enabling you get the switch with all the functionalities you required for today and tomorrow. Here are some metrics of a switch you should value.

Routing Requirements—they dictate what series or line will be explored, which affect pricing significantly. You can choose either dynamic (basic RIP, OSPF, BGP) or static (static and inter-VLAN routing).

Performance Requirements—evaluate switch performance requirements for speed, position in the network (edge, distribution and core) and redundancy needs (power, fabric and management redundency)

Manageability—when specifying a brand, model or OS, consider other models and operating systems already in use. These systems are already managed and understood by the technical staff, and finding a comparable platform is helpful.

Ports Speeds and Types—the speeds, as well as the number of primary and uplink ports is important. Fiber optics and transceivers would be selected based on the fiber types, and distances should be specified for each fiber uplink.

Switches With Same Ethernet Ports: How to Make Your Decision?

Then how to choose from switches with the same port and speeds? Here we take some 10G switches for example, each of them features the same 48 1/10G SFP+ ports and 6 40G QSFP+ ports, delivering 1.44T of throughput. The main metric of these switches are presented as following:

FS S5850-48S6Q Cisco Nexus 9372PX Arista 7050SX-72Q HPE Altoline 6920
NOS Fiberstore OS Cisco IOS Arista EOS HPE Comware
ASIC Centec Broadcom Trident2 Broadcom Trident2 Broadcom Trident2
CPU x86 processor and PowerPC x86 processor x86 processor x86 processor
Latency 612ns 1000 ns 550 ns 600–720 ns
System Memory 1 GB 16 GB 4 GB 8 GB
Power Consumption 150W/190W 210W/537W 144W / 261W 315 W (maximum)
Reference Price US$ 4,000.00 US9,505.00 ~ $21,318.16 US$ 21,408.95 US$ 11,209.66 ~ $12,792.00

Given the same port density and capacity, very similar ASIC and CPU, the differences lie in the latency, power consumption and price.

Latency serves as a fairly important metric of switch, it can be a much stronger determinant of application performance. It defines the speed of bits go from device to device, the lower the latency is, the quicker the speed. As it is beneficial to minimize the overall delay in the communication path between communicating pairs or groups of endpoints. Customers are more inclined to choose switches with low latency. S5850-48S6Q has lower latency when compared with switches of the same switching capacity, proven to be an ideal choice.

The power consumption of switch contributes to a considerable fraction of the energy expenses of data center. Power efficiency is another essential elements that customer values. Customers calculation total cost of ownership need to factor in power consumption. S5850-48S6Q delivers significantly reduced power consumption in this case, compared with the three other brands. And that’s an individual switch, while it comes to multiple switches in data centers, this can be a very huge OpEx saving annually.

Most importantly, the economics of the S5850-48S6Q cannot be beat. S5850-48S6Q is equipped with CPU and chips very similar to those of the big brand ones, which means that the functionalities of the three can be equally realized by S5850-48S6Q. For more information on FS S5850-48S6Q, please visit

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